Sante Fe board members and teachers in New Mexico have become distressed after the Public Education Department proposed standards they argue are too conservative and harmful to students.
The new standards, put forth by New Mexico’s Public Education Department (PED), mirror the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that many states have embraced and adopted. The goal of NGSS is “to create a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards. These standards give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship,” its website says.
Superintendent Veronica García doesn’t agree however, and told the Sante Fe school board that the PED has left climate change and evolution out of the equation. “I believe we are doing our students a disservice by omitting these topics … essentially denying them an opportunity to explore these issues in an unbiased manner,” she said.
The proposed standards removes requirements that students “describe how human activity impacts the environment,” and changes the “rise in global temperatures” to “fluctuation in global temperatures,” in textbooks.
“As science, technology and engineering advance in concert with our business and industry partners, New Mexico is working hard to ensure that children have access to the most rigorous standards and assessments while also expanding science resource and opportunities for schools and educators,” said New Mexico’s Deputy Secretary of School Transformation Debbie Montoya on Tuesday according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Board member Steve Carrillo has called for a rally in front of PED headquarters on Sept. 27 to protest the proposed changes to the education program, saying that adopting the changes is “potentially a very devastating move for our state.”
The education department will hold a hearing on Oct. 16 to determine whether the state will adopt the proposal. If so, the new standards will take effect next summer.
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